Physical Activity

Children in our setting talked about their enjoyment of a range of play based experiences, for example 'pretend play', construction, drawing and painting, cooking and football. However, access to such experiences seemed to vary from child to child within the settings. The play experiences that children enjoyed can be linked to all six Areas of Learning and Development, although children conveyed a strongest sense of enjoyment of play linked to Creative Development, Knowledge and Understanding of the World, Physical Development and aspects of Communication, Language and Literacy. Where children had access to varied and flexible resources and a relatively large, undefined area for play, they identified a wider range of play interests and more complex play. These flexible resources, which children used in diverse ways, included cardboard boxes, fabrics of different kinds and a variety of natural objects such as shells. In our settings, children also enjoyed adult engagement in their play and development, for example with play dough.
As well as play-based experiences, some children shared enjoyment of ‘real world’ experiences, including visits beyond the setting. Favorite activities included cooking, dancing, reading books, often in the company of adults. Like play based experiences, these ‘real world’ experiences linked to each of the six Areas of Learning and Development. Play-based experiences were also shaped by the rules, boundaries and routines of the setting, which children were very keen to comment on. There were some indications that where children were able to understand why certain rules applied, they were most likely to find them helpful in developing their play and supporting their learning.
While demonstrating that they often felt their individual needs and interests were catered for, children were as keen to talk about their role within a group as they were about their individual needs and interests.